Some documentaries take very little time to shoot, while others can take decades. For these longer films, directors undertake the tough process of sorting the quality from the quantity in order to create unique testaments to their subjects. Check out these documentaries that were filmed over long periods of time. Continue reading “Long Story Short: Docs Filmed Over Long Periods Of Time”
Musicians who have problems with substance abuse often make tragic headlines with their struggles. Documentaries can provide a unique view of these individuals not only in their lowest moments with drugs, but also at their heights as they triumphantly take the stage to perform. Check out these documentaries featuring musicians dealing with addiction.
“Last Days Here” (2012)
A look at the life of Bobby Liebling, lead singer of seminal hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he battles decades of hard drug addiction and personal demons, to try and get his life back. The film chronicles the triumphs and downfalls of this underground icon who finds himself at the crossroads of life and death. Continue reading “Sounds & Substances: Docs Featuring Musicians Dealing With Addiction”
Writers face many struggles in their chosen craft. How do they get inspiration and explore their chosen subjects? How do they portray themselves to get an audience? Check out these documentaries about writers.
“City of Gold” (2016)
Acclaimed food writer Jonathan Gold sets off on a journey to explore the panoply of regional cuisines and trademark dishes to be found within the vast urban sprawl of Los Angeles. With eternal curiosity, razor-sharp intellect, and existential longing, Gold is a culinary geographer taking us where no critic has gone before. Continue reading “The Write Stuff: Docs About Authors”
The Star Trek franchise launched in the 1960s, giving viewers a unique view of our culture as reflected through science fiction. The actors who have portrayed characters on Star Trek have themselves lived interesting lives due to the cultural influence of their work. Check out these documentaries featuring actors from the Star Trek franchise.
Continue reading “Act Long & Prosper: Docs Featuring Actors From Star Trek”
People create fake identities for various reasons. In the case of the documentary films below, these fakers wish to expose something to the audience through their trickery. Check out this list of docs that feature various kinds of fakers.
“The Ambassador” (2012)
This is a darkly comic, genre-bending piece of gonzo journalism from international provocateur Mads Brügger. He disguises himself as a European ambassador to expose the business of selling diplomatic titles that allows wealthy businessmen to exploit the resources of Third World nations.
Follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life — and wondering if and when to reveal his true self.
“Czech Dream” (2007)
Documents the largest consumer hoax the Czech Republic has ever seen. Two of Eastern Europe’s most promising young documentary filmmakers set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for a super store that didn’t exist.
Cities can inspire hopes and dreams, so it’s no surprise that they also can inspire fantasy lives as well. This collection of documentaries offers up a unique blend of facts and fantasies involving cities in Canada.
“Seth’s Dominion” (2016)
Director Luc Chamberland sheds light on the cartoonist Seth, mixing insightful biography with vivid animation and exploring his model city named Dominion that Seth has been building for the last 10 years. In this deft portrait, Seth proves to be a wry and engaging narrator of his life story and artistic process. Continue reading “Northern Lights: Docs Featuring Canadian Cities”
Being a gamer can challenge your cognitive ability and your dexterity, but it can also be a challenge to your social skills. How can gamers interact constructively with others while still maintaining their competitive edge? Check out these documentaries about various kinds of gamers.
“Wizard Mode” (2016)
This film is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players. The film follows Robert Gagno as he seeks to balance his quest to become a world pinball champion and his growing real world responsibilities, culminating at the largest pinball tournament in the world. Continue reading “Playing Along: Docs About Gamers”
The art of British graffiti artist Bansky has always raised more questions than answers. This mystique is probably why the artist has been a popular topic for documentaries this past decade. Check out these documentaries about Banksy.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (2010)
This film tells the story of how an eccentric French documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the worlds most infamous graffiti artists at work. Continue reading “Being a Wallflower: Docs About Banksy”
“Kind Hearted Woman” (2013)
This documentary acts as a portrait of a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. The film follows her over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Continue reading “One to Grow On: Docs Featuring Single Mothers”
If you’re a music fan and want to dig further behind the music, there are always a lot of great books to read. But if you want to hear the people behind the music and see their process, nothing can beat a documentary. Check out these documentary series that explore different aspects of music history.
The eight-part series explores the art of music recording and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, “Soundbreaking” explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives.
Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation. Ken Burns’ 10 episode series follows the growth and development of jazz music from the gritty streets of New Orleans to Chicago’s south side, the speakeasies of Kansas city and to Times Square.
“The History of Rock & Roll” (1995)
This 10-part documentary covers rock ‘n’ roll history from its humble beginnings in the ’50s to Lollapalooza in the ’90s. Fans can experience their favorite rock ‘n’ roll moments all over again through hundreds of exclusive interviews, classic footage and unforgettable in-concert performances from rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars.